AUSTRALIA DEVELOPS WOOL-PESTICIDE TEST TO PROMOTE EXPORTS
Byline: Arthur Hagopian
SYDNEY, Australia — A new test for pesticide residues that will save wool growers money, while facilitating the export of Australian wool, has been developed here by the textile and fiber technology division of the country’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization.
Australia is uniquely vulnerable on the issue of pesticide residues because — unlike most other grower countries — it exports the bulk of its wool unprocessed, according to CSIRO’s Ian Russell.
“There is enough low-residue wool available in Australia to meet current needs,” said Russell. “The new test will identify it for the processors that need it. Higher-residue wool can then be directed to processors who do not discharge to waterways, such as those in inland Australia, or to processors with facilities to handle it. The test will show that Australian wool can be bought and processed with confidence anywhere in the world.”
The test is available through major wool brokers and can be ordered at the weigh-in line as wool is received into storage. Testing will be conducted on core samples supplied by growers through the Australian Wool Testing Authority at the request of growers.
Russell said that the new test will reduce residue testing costs to wool growers by at least two-thirds.
The test identifies all currently registered pesticides, including organophosphates, synthetic pyrethroids and insect growth regulators.
New treatments will be included as they reach the market.
Organochlorine pesticides are illegal in Australia, but they are included in the test so that European processors can purchase Australian wool with confidence, said Russell.